Interview with Jahangir Asgarov, the chairman of the Azerbaijan Air Lines (AZAL) State Company
Question: Azerbaijan Air Lines AZAL State Company carries out large-scale actions for the development of aviation system and its infrastructure in Azerbaijan. Could you tell us about it?
Answer: The document on major directions directed at the implementation of the national prРѕgram on development of civil aviation of Azerbaijan in 2004-2008 and actions specified in the document has been submitted to the Azerbaijani President.
The document defines the following dictions of the National Program on Civil Aviation: improvement of the legal base of the civil aviation and ensuring the security of flights, improvement of the logistics base of the aviation companies, which exploit the civil airships, further development of the airports of the civil aviation in accordance with the international standards, covering the countryвЂ�s demand in air transport services, social security of scientific employees, personnel and civil aviation.
Question: The steps taken for the development of the transport infrastructure in Azerbaijan provides basis to guess that in the near future the country will become an important transport junction in the Caspian region. How is the situation developing in this direction?
Answer: Thanks to favorable geographic state and first-rate equipment, the Heydar Aliyev International Airport swiftly becomes an airport number one for transit flights between East and West, North and South. As a result of goal-directed policy pursued by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev at present Azerbaijan takes the first place among CIS countries for attraction of foreign investments.
Under the large-scale projects implemented over the past few years the international financial and banking bodies have put considerable investments in the sphere of civil aviation. Following the opening of the Baku Cargo Terminal at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Azerbaijan has become one of the major points of cargo deliveries transported from the United States and Europe to Asia and reverse.
Question: Under the agreement signed with Airbus Industries AZAL purchased the first airliner Рђ-319. When will the rest airliners arrive in Azerbaijan and in which flights will they be used?
Answer: Under the agreement signed with Airbus S.A.S., the first airliner of Рђ-319 type was delivered and put for exploitation. As of plans, the second passenger airliner was to be delivered to Azerbaijan in October 2005, the third passenger airliner вЂ" in July 2006.
The airliners are allocated for flights through the existing and planned flights, implemented by AZAL to countries of Europe, Asia, and CIS.
Question: You have recently concluded an agreement with the Tashkent Air plant named after Chkalov on purchase of IL-76. When will the airliners arrive in Azerbaijan?
Answer: Indeed, AZAL signed an agreement with the Tashkent Aviation Production Enterprise named after Chkalov on the purchase of two airliners IL-76-90VD. It is notable that IL-76 airliners are the most successful and widely used airbuses in the history of international aviation deliveries.
Modified airliners IL-76-90VD meets the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), they were certified for implementation of flights worldwide and are in condition of taking cargo in the weight up to 50 tons.
Question: At present the construction of new airports within the country is underway. Do you plan to open airports in the near prospect?
Answer: Azerbaijan Air Lines (AZAL) State Company has drafted a conceptual project on the development of Nakhchivan Air Port and the requirements set by the ICAO were followed in this project. As you know, work over the reconstruction of the Nakhchivan international airport was complete and on 12 May 2005 the airport was put into exploitation. At present the Ganja international airport carries out the reconstruction work and it is to complete by mid-2006.
The first stone of Lankaran airport has been laid recently in presence of the Azerbaijani President and the construction work will set up in 2006. Later it is planned to reconstruct the Zakatala airport.
Question: In what stage is the development of a state program on ensuring the aviation security?
Answer: In compliance with the Law on Aviation, the State Program on ensuring the Aviation Security was anew drafted. At present it is awaiting for the consideration and adoption.